Research shows those who say they would allow ‘many’ immigrants to enter are happier than those who want none to enter. British people who oppose further immigration to the UK are less happy than those who welcome it, and politicians are part of the reason for this. Dr David Bartram, lecturer at the University of Leicester who carried out the research.Those who say they would allow “many” immigrants to enter are around eight per cent happier than those who want none to enter, according to a study, prompting researchers to conclude that anti-immigrant discourse in politics is “contributing to undermining the subjective well-being of the natives themselves”.
Speaking at the British Sociological Association’s annual conference in Manchester, Dr Bartram said: “For the most part, immigration is not a threat to the employment or wages of natives. Economic research on that topic finds that for the economy as a whole, immigration enhances the economic situation of natives – it expands job opportunities and doesn’t undermine wages. “Instead it’s the beliefs themselves that people have about immigrants, the way people think about immigrants – they’re not ‘part of us’ – that makes them unhappy about immigrants, and indeed perhaps less happy in general.
Dr Bartram added that political messages play a key role in promoting such discourse among the population, and that it was “damaging” those who were influenced by it.